December 08, 2022

FriendsPDX Voted 2022 #1 Most Admired Nonprofit

Since its founding in 1993, Friends of the Children—Portland (FriendsPDX) continues to receive recognition for its unique, courageous, and proven mentoring model. For the eighth year in a row, the organization has been voted the Portland Business Journal’s #1 Most Admired Company in the Nonprofit category. FriendsPDX has been in the top three list of Oregon’s Most Admired Nonprofits since 2012.

FriendsPDX is a professional mentoring organization that specializes in serving youth who are navigating the intersecting challenges of the impacts of poverty and complex trauma. We make a 12+ year commitment to each youth in our program that begins in kindergarten and lasts through high school graduation. Our mentors are salaried, full-time professionals who spend approximately four hours every week with each youth they walk alongside. We are deeply committed to helping the youth we serve reach their full potential and develop the skills necessary to experience personal and professional fulfillment in adulthood.

Our growth has been fueled by the success and efficacy of our model, with nearly three decades of data informing the approach and changing lives and communities. The model works! Organization-wide, 92% of youth go on to enroll in post-secondary education, serve our country or enter the workforce, 83% of youth earn a high school diploma or GED, 95% of youth remain free from juvenile justice system involvement, and 98% of youth wait to parent until after their teen years. We are humbled by the recognition of the impact we are making and look forward to achieving our strategic priorities. Our program is made possible by support from the community.

In 2023, we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Friends of the Children. What started here in Portland has now been replicated in 29 communities across the country! For the Portland chapter, executive director Traci Rossi shares that “as we prepare to celebrate our 30th year of service to the community, we are reflecting gratefully for all those who have helped us to increase our reach and impact over the years. We are also looking forward to achieving our current priorities. These include deepening our impact on the youth in our program, strengthening and expanding our community of Friends so we can serve more children, and enhancing our mental health support by providing additional training for staff."